| Sunday, May 20, 2007
| TALKING ABOUT FRANCE
Does your home or school have WALLPAPER? The French came up with this idea about 500 years ago. Many other cool inventions have also come from France. About 200 years ago, a man named Andre-Jacques Garnerin created the first PARACHUTE.
In 1816, a French man named Rene Laennec came up with the idea of the STETHOSCOPE. This tool allows doctors to listen to people's heart beats.
In 1824, a man from France created a special kind of writing that allows blind people to read. It uses groups of raised dots that stand for letter of the alphabet. This amazing invention is called BRAILLE. Its creator, Louis Braille, was only 15 years old when he came up with the idea!
In 1864, a French scientist named Louis Pasteur figured out a way to make milk last for a long time before it spoiled. His idea is still used today called PASTEURIZATION.
Two French men, Joseph-Nicephore Niepce and Louis Daguerre, invented PHOTOGRAPHY more than 150 years ago. About 100 years ago, a man from France named Leon Gaumont figured out a way to make SOUND MOVIES. But it took many years for his invention to get popular. Until then all movies were silent!
In 1942, two men, Emile Gagnon and Jacques Costeau, invented a special equipment that allows people to swim underwater for a long time. This invention is called SCUBA GEAR.
French people really love to eat cheese. Some of the famous types of cheese that come from France are BRIE and CAMEMBERT. French people also enjoy CREPES, pancakes that are rolled up and filled with different types of yummy food. Another tasty French dish is the SOUFFLE, a puffy dish made of eggs and other ingredients.
Many other famous kinds of food also come from France. One food that you've probably eaten is FRENCH TOAST. Another is a buttery, flacky roll called a CROISSANT. Croissant is the French word for "crescent". Croissants got their name because they are crescent shaped, just like the moon!
Take a look around your kitchen at home. Many of the things you'll see there originally came from France. For example, people in France came up with the idea of the CORK BOTTLE TOP more than 450 years ago. Today, many bottle tops are made of plastic or metal. The French invented the COFFEE POT about 200 years ago. In 1954, they also came up with the idea of the TEFLON frying pan. Teflon is a special material that is very easy to clean because food does'nt stick to it. Another important cooking tool is the FOOD PROCESSOR, which was invented in France about 30 years ago.
The French came up with the original ideas for many vehicles that you may see. For example, more than 300 years ago, some people in the French city of Paris came up with the basic idea for a BUS. And about 200 years ago, a French doctor invented the AMBULANCE. Both the bus and the ambulance were driven by horses. But also around 200 years ago, a French man named Nicolas Cugnot invented the first road vehicle to move under its own power. His invention was called the STEAM CARRIAGE. When he tried to drive it crashed into a wall and overturned. Still some people think it was the worl'ds first car.
Several kinds of air travel were also invented in France. For example, Joseph and Etienne Montgolfier launched the first HOT-AIR BALLOON. More than woo years ago. It was the first time people had ever been able to fly. A hot air balloon is hard to control. That's because it will go only where the wind takes it. So in 1852, a French inventor came up with a way to attaching a motor to a balloon. He has invented the FIRST AIRSHIP. It wasn't a plane, but it was close.
People in France did'nt come up with the idea for the airplane, but they did invent the first SEAPLANE. A seaplane is a kind of aircraft that lands on water instead of on a runway. It was invented in 1910 by a French pilot name Henri Fabre. The French also helped create the WORLD'S FASTEST PASSENGER AIRPLANE. It is called the CONCORDE jet, and it was invented in 1976 by people from France and England.
No one knows exactly who invented PAINTING. But the oldest paintings in the world are found in the walls of a cave in France. They are more than 30,000 years old. The French came up with the idea for BALLET more than 400 years ago. Today, this popular kind of dance is performed in theaters around the world.
The FRENCH HORN was invented in France about 400 years ago. Today, musicians all over the world use this marvelous instrument.
About 500 years ago, people in France invented the kind of PLAYING CARDS we use today. These cards are divided into four suits: spades, hearts, diamonds, and clubs. Around the same time, the French invented TENNIS. Back then, the game was played only by the King of France and his best friends.
On April 1, some people celebrate APRIL FOOL'S DAY by playing practical jokes on each other. Many people believe this holiday began in France nearly 450 years ago. Another French Holiday takes place in July 14. This is called BASTILLE DAY, and it celebrates a revolution that happened in France in 1789.On Bastille Day, there are parades, speeches, and fireworks. French restaurants in other parts of the world often have special events on that day.
French people are famous for making and wearing beautiful fabrics and clothes. For example, people in France came up with the idea of LACE about 700 years ago. HIGH-HELLED SHOES were invented in France more than 400 years ago. In those days, men wore these shoes. Today it's usually women who wear high heels. More than 300 years ago, people in France came up with the idea of wearing NECKTIES. The first neckties were called Cravats. The French invented SUITS. The original suits were created more than 200 years ago. Back then, men ofter wore suits to ride horses. Today, both men and women often wear suits when they to work.
(Source: Abstracted from the book: "Look What Came From France" by: Miles Harvey)
|posted by infraternam meam @ 9:19 PM